Fourth Quarter Comeback

Fourth Quarter Comeback

Bill Stoklosa

As the fourth quarter began, the Raiders looked as though they were headed for their third consecutive defeat, but Colgate’s football team came up big on both sides of the ball to claim a 29-28 victory over Holy Cross, eliminating the Crusades from title contention.

Colgate played fairly well in the first half, but was unable to avoid turnovers on a rainy Saturday afternoon. First-year Ty Henry had a huge fumble early in the second quarter that was recovered by Holy Cross at their own 7 yard line. On the ensuing drive Holy Cross went 93 yards on just 7 plays. The drive was capped off by a 35 yard touchdown pass from Dominic Randolph to Matt Fanning. Later in the quarter the Raiders again coughed up the football in the red zone. This time senior quarterback Mike Saraceno put the ball on the turf and Holy Cross’ Dan Adams recovered at the Crusader’s 30 yard line. Once again Holy Cross drove down the filed after the turnover, going 70 yards in just 2:30. Randolph once again connected on a touchdown pass, this time to Ryan Maher to extend the lead to 14-0. However, Colgate put together a fantastic drive with less than 3 minutes left on the clock. The Raiders drove all the way down to the five yard line when Saraceno connected with Henry in the end zone for a touchdown. Sophomore Jordan Scott ran the ball in for two points to cut the lead to 14-8.

The second half didn’t start off well for the Raiders, with the Crusaders scoring the first points in the half on a 24 yard touchdown pass from Randolph to Mike Kielt.

Saraceno threw a beautiful pass to junior receiver Erik Burke, which Burke caught and then sprinted down field for a 56 yard touchdown reception. The score cut the lead to 21-15. Late in the quarter things turned disastrous as sophomore Eric Tupta fumbled the ball on his own four yard line, and Brian Billman recovered for Holy Cross. Holy Cross needed just one play, a four yard run by Mike Kielt, to extend their lead to 28-15.

The Raiders entered the 4th quarter trailing by 13, but quickly scored again, as Saraceno scampered 23 yards into the end zone, to cut the Holy Cross lead to 28-22. Colgate’s defense got the offense the ball back, and the offense drove down the field and scored on a 3 yard run by Scott. Junior Mike Buck connected on the extra point and gave the Raiders a 29-28 lead. Holy Cross had a chance to reclaim the lead later in the quarter, but a Mike DeSantis field goal attempt hit the back of one of his own lineman. Holy Cross got the ball twice more before the end of the game, but the Raider’s defense held firm and preserved the one point lead.

“It was the first time we really finished out a game,” Head Coach Dick Biddle said. “We overcome a lot and a lot of players stepped up.”

Saraceno was the key to the Raider’s victory; he passed for 289 yards, and had three total touchdowns. Junior linebacker Mike Gallihugh had 12 tackles and was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week. Scott had 160 yards rushing and became only the third Colgate back to have consecutive 1,000 yard seasons.

The win improves Colgate’s record to 4-6, and they will finish the season on Saturday at Bucknell.